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Cub Cadet Snow Blower Buyers Guide

Cub Cadet Snow Blower Buyers Guide

1. Why choose a snow blower? 


If you live in areas where snowfall is frequent or heavy, shoveling becomes part of your daily routine. Ditching your shovel, along with the heavy lifting and repetitive strain that comes with shoveling snow, in favor of a snow blower can save you time and energy. A couple of reasons to justify a snow blower purchase include:

Save your body

Shoveling brings a lot of unnatural twisting, turning, heavy lifting and throwing, all of which present hazards for injury without even taking icy conditions into account. A snow blower reduces those risks by eliminating awkward and strenuous motions, keeping you upright and keeping you stable even through icy patches.  

Save time

Let’s face it, time is our most valuable resource. We all have places to be, and some snowfalls can take hours to shovel your drive. But with a snow blower, you can plow through the task in 20 minutes or so, giving you more time to focus on your day.

Make snow clearing fun

Shoveling is work, but using a powerful machine to move heavy snow is swift and easy, turning hard work into satisfying and enjoyable task.

Be a neighborhood hero

More efficient and less strenuous snow clearing gives you the time to lend a helping hand to a neighbor. If you don’t purchase a snow blower to save your back, save time or to make snow clearing fun, buy one simply to do more friendly favors. 
 

2. What should I consider before purchasing a new snow blower? 

 

Man using cub cadet two stage snow blower to clear drive
 
A snow blower is a significant investment, and like all significant investments it can feel overwhelming at times. There are a lot of different types of machines and accessories to think about, but the top thing to remember is to pair a snow blower to the job at hand. Here are some things to consider:

How much snowfall do you typically get?

There are three types of snow blowers. The more stages, the more snow the machine can handle (when compared to a comparable model). Single-stage snow blowers are ideal for up to 6-inches of snowfall, 2-stage snow blowers are great for up to 12-inches of snowfall and 3-stage units can handle up to 18-inches of snowfall. And for the most extreme storms, Cub Cadet® MAX units can handle up to 23-inches of snowfall. 

What type of terrain are you clearing snow from?

Even if you are looking to clear a small to midsize area that would usually be best suited for a single-stage model, uneven terrain or gravel can make a 2-stage snow blower a better choice because of key step-up features — like a self-propelled drive and skid shoes. Are you clearing a solid and even paved surface (consider an auger-assisted or push-propelled machine), or is it a rough (gravel) surface (consider an engine-driven model) or sloped surface (consider an engine-driven track drive model).

What do you need from your snow blower?

Once you’ve determined your basic snow-clearing needs, think about your needs as the operator to help identify any features or accessories that would be beneficial. For example, if the spaces you intend to clear are poorly lit, look for a model with LED headlights. If you experience back problems, look for power steering and an electric start. If you have perpetually cold hands, choose a snow blower with heated hand grips. 
 

3. When is the best time to buy a snow blower? 


As with every one of your snow necessities, from your parka to your boots to your snow blower, it’s best to think about buying before you’re snowed in and in desperate need. Finding a snow blower before the official snow season (in September or October) means you’ll be prepared for whatever extreme winter throws your way.
 

4. What is the difference between a single-stage snow blower, two-stage snow blower and three-stage snow blower? 


The various stages of snow blowers signify how many augers/impellers the unit has to scoop and throw snow. The more stages a machine has, the more powerful and efficient it will be to clear more snow in less time. Single-stage snow blowers are ideal for smaller jobs like walkways and short driveways. They are light, compact and easy to handle. But if you get more snow, have unpaved surfaces with inclines or a longer driveway, you’ll want to consider a 2-stage or 3-stage snow blower that will help clear larger volumes in larger areas. 

Single-Stage Snow Blowers

A single-stage snow blower has one auger that breaks, scoops and throws snow, so they are an ideal choice for smaller jobs like walkways and short driveways. Single stage snow blowers are ideal for quickly removing six inches of snow from smooth, smaller areas. The Cub Cadet Single-Stage Snow Blower has self-propelled auger drive system created from high-impact rubber and reinforced with steel, you get an ideal blend of power and dependability in a lightweight design that can clear snow all the way down to the pavement.  

Two-Stage Snow Blowers

A 2-stage snow blower has an auger and an impeller. The auger breaks and scoops up wet and heavy snow, then the impeller throws snow out and away from the path. This division of labor means more power and a much further throwing distance compared to a single-stage. A 2-stage snow blower is ideal for clearing 12” of snow while gliding over both smooth and rough surfaces. Cub Cadet 2-stage snow blower models feature heavy duty steel augers and are better suited for larger areas and heavier snow.

Three-Stage Snow Blowers

The 3-stage snow blower is the strongest snow blower on the market, with an accelerator that allows you to clear snow 50% faster than a comparable Cub Cadet 2-stage snow blower. This snow blower powers through ice, snow and slush with its three-step system. Cub Cadet's 3-stage snow blower models offer top-rated performance and the ultimate peace-of-mind. 

Here is a summary of the different type of snow blowers and the work they are best suited for: 
 

 

Single-Stage

Two-Stage

Three-Stage

MAX

Snowfall

Up to 6"

Up to 12"

Up to 18"

Up to 23"

Snow type

Light

Moderate

Heavy

Heavy

Clearing Width

21"

24-30"

24-30"

30-34"

Surface

Paved

Paved/Gravel

Paved/Gravel

Paved/Gravel

Throwing Distance

Up to 30'

Up to 40'

Up to 40'

Up to 65'

 

5. What specifications should I consider when buying a snow blower? 

 

three stage snow blower discharging snow to the right


Finding the right snow blower model for you is based entirely on your personal needs and preferences. Here is a guide to some key snow blower specifications and why they are important to consider:
 

Clearing width

Clearing width refers to the amount of space you can cover at once. Whether you have a single-car or double-car driveway, the larger the clearing width, the fewer passes you’ll have to make to clear it.

Adjustable Skid Shoes and Shave Plate

Single-stage snow blowers have auger paddles that come in direct contact with the ground while 2-stage and 3-stage models are designed with the ability to adjust the height of the auger housing depending on the type of surface you’re clearing snow from. For paved surfaces, you can leave the auger at the lowest height. However, if you’re clearing snow from an uneven, cracked or gravel surface, using the unit’s skid shoes to raise the shave plate will allow the unit to ride over the gravel to avoid picking up and throwing it onto your lawn.

Engine sizes

Larger engines support faster drive systems and easier maneuvering. Units with larger engines and more power have greater capability to plow through deeper snow conditions. But remember, bigger engines are not always necessary for the average driveway. It’s best to pair the right sized engine with your area’s ideal snowfall and driveway size.

Throwing distance

A shorter throwing distance will work for smaller driveways, but if you have a wider driveway, a longer throwing distance will be required to move the snow away from your clearing path. A shorter throwing distance means more passes and more time spent clearing your driveway.
 

6. What features should I consider when buying a snow blower? 


Snow blowers are built to make snow clearing safer, easier and more efficient all winter long, and having the right features can make the process even better. Here is a quick guide to snow blower features:

Electric start

Start your machine at the push of a button instead of pull cords.

Trigger control power steering 

At the touch of a finger, you can turn heavier 2-stage and 3-stage units on a dime as you reach the end of your driveway or on curved paths.

Heated grips/handlebars

These come in handy if you’re clearing snow in cold temperatures, heated hand grips keep your hands warm for more control and comfort.

Headlights

LED headlights will illuminate your clearing path to give you better visibility in poorly-lit areas and through heavy snowstorms.  

Skid shoes

Cool blue skid shoes make handling and maneuvering easy by gliding over surfaces and preventing rust on garage floors, driveways, and sidewalks.

Drift cutters

For deep drifting conditions where snow depth exceeds intake height, drift cutters will prevent snow from falling onto the machine. 

Electronic fuel-injected (EFI) engines

EFI technology reduces starting steps and eliminates fuel related stating issues for easier starts and increased dependability  

IntelliPower™

IntelliPower™ technology Improves efficiency of the engine to allow for more power when the unit encounters boggy patches of snow. The unit can plow through these difficult areas without feeling a drop off in performance.



7. Why choose a Cub Cadet snow blower? 


Our X-Series line of snow blowers are engineered for any extreme. Cub Cadet is the standard if you want products that are thoughtfully designed around people. When you buy Cub Cadet, you're backed by strong warranties and a nationwide network of dealers that offer full warranty and parts service.


8. What snow blower is best for...


When choosing a snow blower it’s paramount to consider the ground beneath the snow. Uneven terrain or gravel can impact the type of snow blower best suited for the job. While clearing area size should also be taken into account, here is a quick guide:

Best snow blower for gravel: 

It’s important to find a model that allows you to adjust the intake height with adjustable skid shoes. Skid shoes are needed on stone or gravel driveways so that they lift the scraper bar above the gravel and stone, otherwise, the scraper bars will sit flush with the ground and pick up stone/gravel degree and discharge through the chute. All Cub Cadet 2-stage and 3-stage models have skid shoes. Units with a track drive also work well on uneven surfaces, like gravel.
 

Best snow blower for stamped concrete

Skid shoes also are important on stamped concrete so that the augers do not touch and damage the concrete surface, so a 2-stage or 3-stage model would be ideal. Also keep in mind that Cub Cadet’s single-stage model utilizes rubber coated auger paddles, so they won’t cause damage to the surface.
 

Best snow blower for a wooden deck

A single stage unit generally works best on a wooden deck because its lightweight, but make sure that the auger paddles aren’t sharp to avoid damaging the surface. Cub Cadet’s single-stage model utilizes rubber coated auger paddles, making it an ideal choice when you’re looking to avoid scratching the surface.
 

Best snow blower for steep slopes or terrain

Units with a track drive are ideal for uneven slopes or terrain because it provides the best traction. Cub Cadet has TRAC drive models in both its 2-stage and 3-stage lines.
 

Ice chunk at the end of the driveway

The ice chunk, snow pile or the wall of winter at the end of your driveway. Whatever term you prefer, it’s a formidable foe when you have somewhere to go. A Cub Cadet MAX, EFI or IntelliPower™ unit will have the teeth and engine power you need to clear winter away.


9. How to operate a snow blower safely? 


Operator error is the number one cause of clogs and breakdowns, and improper clearing of clogs is the most common cause of injuries. Keep yourself safe and your snow blower working efficiently with these tips: 


Snow blower safety before you turn it on: 

•    Make sure that you are familiar with all snow blower controls and their proper operation
•    Be familiar with the safety tips specific to your model, available in your operator’s manual. Make sure you know how to stop the snow blower and disengage it quickly
•    Never allow children under 14 years of age to operate a snow blower. Review snow blower safety with children over 14 before they operate it
•    Plan your pattern to avoid discharge of material towards roads, bystanders, your home and other objects. Thrown objects can cause serious injury
•    Inspect the area you intend to clear and remove anything that might obstruct your machine (doormats, newspapers, sticks, boards and other objects that could be tripped over or thrown by the snow blower auger/impeller)
•    Always wear protective eyewear during operation and while performing an adjustment or repair to protect your eyes
•    Be aware that clothing can become entangled in moving parts of the snow blower Do not wear jewelry, long scarves or other loose clothing items while operating
•    For snow blowers with a corded electric start engine, use a grounded three-wire extension cord and receptacle
•    To clear snow on gravel or crushed rocks, adjust the snow blower collector (auger) housing height to avoid throwing rocks. Do this using the adjustable skid shoes.
•    Before starting the snow blower engine, disengage all control levers


Snow blower safety during operation: 

•    Never attempt to make any adjustments or repairs to the snow blower while the engine is running, unless otherwise stated in your manual
•    Create a safety area of 75 feet around the snow blower to keep bystanders, pets and children away from the equipment. Stop the snow blower if anyone enters the area
•    Exercise caution to avoid slipping or falling. When the snow blower is in reverse, pay special attention to your footing
•    Before clearing snow, let the engine and machine adjust to cold outdoor temperatures
•    Do not use a snow blower on steep slopes and use extreme caution when clearing snow from mild slopes. Do not use the snow blower in heavy snow or with minimal visibility
•    Never use your hands to clear a clogged chute assembly. Shut the engine off and remain behind the handles until all moving parts have stopped before unclogging. Then, use the snow blower chute clean-out tool, which is conveniently clipped to the rear of the auger housing


10. What snow blower replacement parts do I need?


There's always a chance you will need a part during, or right after a snowstorm (after all, that's when you're most likely to use your snow blower). But in wintry conditions, it isn't always convenient to go out and buy parts and the part you need may not be readily available. Be prepared for this type of emergency situation by having the following spare parts on hand:
•    Drive Belt(s)
•    Spark plug
•    Oil and fresh fuel
•    Skid shoes
•    Key
•    Shear pins (Learn More about shear pins here)
•    Shave plate
•    Fuel stabilizer (Cub Cadet recommends STA-BIL fuel additive and stabilizer for its gas-powered outdoor equipment to maintain the gasoline’s effective life longer and prevent future fuel system problems.)
Consult your Operator's Manual and/or Illustrated Parts List for exact part numbers and/or location of these components on specific units. Find your Cub Cadet machine operator’s manuals here
Cub Cadet genuine parts are available at your local authorized Cub Cadet dealer and online.